Mass Effect: Andromeda has some, shall we say, issues with its facial animations. Over the past few days we’ve all had a good chuckle over the game’s inhuman rubbery faces, or at least that’s what those of us with some perspective have been doing. Some Mass Effect fans are fightin’ mad about the janky animations, and a small subset of trolls and malcontents have decided to target a specific BioWare employee over them.
As you may have already guessed, the target of this witch hunt is a woman. Allie Rose-Marie Leost worked in EA’s Vancouver-based motion capture labs, and a GamerGate-affiliated website that doesn’t deserve any extra exposure singled her out as the cause of the busted faces, claiming she was Andromeda’s lead facial animator. Since then, this lone BioWare employee has been flooded with angry messages on social media, accusing her of being unqualified for her job, along with the usual ugly threats and misogynistic comments.
The situation has become so toxic, BioWare has stepped in to condemn the harassment and clarify the situation. Surprise, surprise, the shady website that started all this misrepresented the situation, as Ms. Leost was, in fact, not the lead facial animator for Mass Effect: Andromeda…
It’s nice to see BioWare stepping in promptly to defend their employee, as some publishers have been slow or reluctant to respond to these kind of harassment campaigns in the past. Unfortunately, this kind of thing has become all to common in 2017, and the mob is probably already moving onto their next target.
If you ever feel the urge to attack individual game makers, just remember, no one person has any real control over a big-budget game in 2017. A game like Mass Effect: Andromeda has a staff of thousands. The idea that one person messed up the game’s facial animations is ridiculous. When these kind of witch hunts heat up, look at who they’re targeting – it’s almost never the actual producer or director of the game. It’s a vulnerable person on the fringes of the production. Of course, most of all, remember that these are just games, and nobody deserves to have their lives disrupted or ruined over them.
Mass Effect: Andromeda touches down on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on March 21.